The Commonwealth Games make an esports U-turn in the dark

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) and the Global Esports Federation co-funded an esports pilot event at the 2022 Birmingham Games (GEF). The CGF hailed this as a victory and expressed her expectation that it would be incorporated "moving forward." Esports, however, won't be a part of the 2026 Games in Victoria, Australia, according to the organizers. The 2026 Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee refuses to provide any detailed explanations for the U-turn despite repeated inquiries from BBC News, the CGF, and GEF. Doping in esports, according to a source familiar with the conversations, may have been a role. This person expressed concern that setting up year-round drug testing across the many video game franchises might be difficult. According to a second insider, Victoria seemed to be the place where esports will truly break new ground following Birmingham. Since the committee won't say, we are unsure of their reasoning. Doping might have played a role, but there was also much general opposition to esports from more established, older members of the Game's country groupings. It's depressing. Dame Louise Martin, president of the CGF, expressed her hope during the Birmingham event that having esports in the official schedule would spark young people who aren't as engaged in traditional sports. Many young people in that age group play sports on video game consoles rather than doing sports in the traditional sense on a field or something similar. Low hundreds of viewers tuned in to see the live bouts. However, the CGF and GEF stated that they were still evaluating the pilot and probable upcoming events. Although they were unsuccessful this time, the Commonwealth Games Federation and the Global Esports Federation will continue to work on a roadmap for inclusion for this expanding sport, according to a 2026 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee spokeswoman. The use of drugs like the prescription stimulant Adderall by competitive gamers to improve their focus and performance has been documented in numerous high-profile situations. The professional Call of Duty player Cuyler "Huke" Garland admitted last year that he utilized Adderall to win the 2020 Championship. Kory "Semphis'' Friesen, a professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player, admitted to using Adderall with his Cloud9 teammates in 2015 during a significant event with a $250,000 prize pool. In addition, the CGF and the World Anti-Doping Agency, which has outlawed the use of Adderall during competition, announced a long-term partnership agreement in July 2022. At the 2022 pilot event, none of the 100 gamers from 20 various nations that attended were drug tested. Joshua "JMKKing'' King, a professional FIFA player from New Zealand who placed eighth, claimed that he was not currently aware of any allegations of doping in the Fifa scene. Since most tournaments are conducted online, I would expect that there could be problems, but I have never heard of any. It would have been a fantastic chance for esports to develop further and a possible chance for me to represent my nation, but it isn't the end of the road; esports will develop without taking part in the Commonwealth Games.